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Kevin Millar on M&M: ‘It was just a slow start’ for Clay Buchholz

06.15.12 at 1:38 pm ET

MLB Network analyst and former Sox first baseman Kevin Millar made his weekly appearance on Mut & Merloni on Friday afternoon and talked about the Sox’ pitching situation, focusing on the improving Clay Buchholz. To listen to the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

“I don’t think it was an injury question,” Millar said of Buchholz. “It was just a slow start, like people have. Like [how] Albert Pujols didn’t hit a home run for the first six weeks. It was miserable. Clay Buchholz is who he is. We always new he had a nice fastball, a changeup, and [a] nice curve ball. But starting pitchers will go through these times and all of a sudden you just get hit. .. .I just think it was one of those things [where] the sky was falling for the Red Sox.”

Buchholz has started playing better of late, as he gave up total of three earned runs in his last three, starts, all wins. Millar pointed to pitching as one of the Sox’ positives.

“They do have some bright spots, and offensively they have to get hot,” Millar said. “Adrian Gonzalez can’t end up with five, six, seven, eight home runs on the year, right? You have to say he’s going to get 25 at some point.”

Millar also had some advice for Red Sox infielder Will Middlebrooks, whose starts have been limited recently.

“Well, you’re in the big leagues bro, so enjoy every minute, every day you’re out there,” Millar said. “Hitting early, take early batting practice every day, you be ready to play every single day. … The point is, his time will come.”

Millar transitioned from Middlebrooks to the general strategy of young players skipping multiple years of playing time in the minor leagues.

“Where’s the grind anymore?” Millar said. “Why not spend three, four, five years in the minor leagues getting mentally tough? Learn how to make right-hand turns, because this game’s about learning how to fail.”

Read More: adrian gonzalez, Albert Pujols, Clay Buchholz, Kevin Millar
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